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FedEx sued by EEOC for disability discrimination

California residents may be interested to learn about a lawsuit that is being filed against FedEx Ground Package System, Inc. by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The lawsuit was announced on Oct. 10 and alleges that FedEx Ground has failed to provide accommodations for deaf and hard-of-hearing employees on a national level.

The broad disability discrimination lawsuit against the company was reportedly the result of 19 specific claims by deaf and hard-of-hearing employees that were consolidated into one lawsuit by the EEOC. According to a nationwide investigation that was conducted by the EEOC, deaf and hard-of-hearing package handlers at FedEx Ground have been marginalized by the company's failure to offer them vital accommodations during staff meetings and normal work activities.

During training at FedEx Ground, the EEOC claims that new hires with hearing impairments are not offered closed-captioning or American Sign Language interpretation while watching mandatory training videos. These accommodations are also not provided at the subsequent staff meetings that are also mandatory. While delivering packages, deaf and hard-of-hearing workers are not offered substitute equipment like vibrating scanners. The EEOC claims that these failures by the company have hindered the job performance of hearing-impaired employees and caused them to miss out on job opportunities.

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, employers are obligated to provide sufficient accommodations to a worker who has a disability so that the worker can enjoy the same benefits of employment as everyone else. When an employer fails to do this, the worker may have a case for filing a complaint with the EEOC. An employment law attorney may be able to advise a disabled worker who has been discriminated against about all of the steps necessary for claiming compensation.

Source: The National Law Review, "EEOC Sues FedEx Ground Package System, Inc., for Nationwide Disability Discrimination", October 10, 2014

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